Cambodia-based JC International Airlines plans to expand direct flights to Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport to tap into the growth of tourists between the neighbouring nations after the airline’s launch just two months ago. Company CEO Huang Dongyan said: “Bangkok is a good destination and is close to Cambodia.
“It is one of the most popular places that Cambodians like to go as a commercial and shopping centre.We plan direct flights from Phnom Penh to Bangkok every day from June 6.” Sinn Chanserey Vutha, spokesman for the Secretariat of State for Civil Aviation, confirmed that the airline had approval from the Thais for the route and was expecting to start flights to Don Mueang soon.
“Actually, the airline wants direct flights to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport but they don’t have good time slots for us so we changed to fly to Don Mueang International Airport. Mr Vutha said that presently there were three airlines – Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and AirAsia operating flights to Bangkok.
“From the authority’s perspective, we encourage having more flights to many other destinations around the world,” he said.
“This newcomer will set a competitive strategy by lowering costs and improving services. That is good for our customers.
“I think the airline has already finished their market study on the route so they see potential growth and that’s why they decided to start the route.”
Ms Huang said the airlines would operate an Airbus A320, with morning flights to Bangkok at 6.45, 7.00, 6.20, 8.45, 9.25, and 9.40.
JC International Airlines was registered as a local company with an investment capital of $50 million.
The airline has two Airbus A320s with daily flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and with Sihanoukville, Taiwan and Macau as the other destinations.
Earlier this month, Cambodia and Thailand agreed to use all means to promote jointly a campaign with the theme “Two Kingdoms, One Destination”.
Both countries will facilitate tourism by implementing a single visa for third countries in a grouping known as the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy or ACMECS. The ACMECS comprises Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
All ACMECS members are part of Asean, and the ACMECS single visa is expected to pave the way for an Asean common visa.
Last year, Cambodia welcomed more than five million foreign tourists, an increase of five per cent from more than 4.77 million a year earlier.
Of these, Thai tourists were in the top three with nearly 400,000 last year, an increase of almost 20 percent on the year before.